Sunday, February 4, 2018

Eyes wide open, naked as we came

It has been a lazy Saturday here. Everyone slept in and I was able to wait until the sun (THE SUN!) was peaking through the blinds before I got out of bed. I enjoyed a daylight run and pushing the kids out the door to play outside. Since I was back into sweatpants before noon and had no plans I decided to dig into the Hassell archives. A giant blue Rubbermaid tub that Jordan has drug to all the places we have lived. It is filled with memories. There are actual physical pictures from our youth (not backed up on the cloud), letters from me, weird academic awards, half-ass filled out baby books and newspaper clippings. There are pretty much no contributions in that tub that I physically put in there.

I have a confession to make...

I'm constantly throwing things away. This has been a cat and mouse game that Jordan and I have played all our marriage. She can't find something, she asks me where it is, I act like I don't know (while remembering the exact moment I threw it away) and then I start squirming until she corners me with an interrogation. There have been a few rare times when months later the missing item was located. Jordan never apologizes because I have already falsely confessed. I know why innocent people confess to crimes they never committed. The pressure!

Parker has even taken up Jordan's watchful eye of my special filing cabinet (the garbage can). She is always asking me where her homework (sorry Ms. Welland) and that one picture of an octopus with only seven legs is. To throw her off my trail I usually hide it under the leftovers. I can share my secret with you because she is only five and doesn't read this blog yet.

While I was digging through the archives I pulled out all sorts of odd pictures from the past. If you have only recently met Jordan and I you have missed out on some special haircuts and hair colors (not sharing those pictures). It was fun to relive some of those moments. I spent the afternoon doing my best to put some of the pictures in chronological order. As soon as I started showing them to Jordan she would recall each moment with perfect clarity and suddenly my timeline was falling apart like a criminal about to confess to a crime. We laughed, we cried and we cringed at some of our fashion choices.

Check out the eyebrow ring. Jordan's parents were thrilled!
Baby-faced and mostly innocent.
Where is the beard?
Look at that pre-child glow!
I also pulled a bunch of the letters that I wrote to Jordan out of various envelopes and bags. I've spent most of the day reading through my end of the correspondence that helped to shape our relationship. I've never taken the time to slow down and read these before. My grammar has improved greatly and apparently, my humor pretty much hasn't changed at all in the last fifteen years.

As I started sifting through these innocent confessions of love, happiness and life I realized that everything and nothing has changed. I never could have dreamed when writing those letters that I would be sitting here in this moment (in my green chair) reflecting on the whirlwind of the last fifteen years. Jordan and I have grown so much. We are different in so many great ways since that time. Things in us have been planted, cultivated and grown through our marriage and our relationships with others. We have stripped away some immature things (and desperately clung to others).

I read the words of a young man completely fascinated with someone that could match his wits and keep him on his toes. Promises made with no way of knowing what tomorrow would bring. Confessions of fears and doubts. Logic full of holes. There was one constant in each letter though (besides the incredible humor). The love that was growing stronger with time between two people that were meant to be together. As I sat surrounded by the evidence of our story I realized the way that we are still exactly the same. We are still desperately in love.

I read Jordan one of the letters tonight before she went to bed. We cried a snot-filled sobbing cry. I decided that I'm going to hide this massive pile of letters (not in the garbage) and read one to Jordan each day for the foreseeable future. As a reminder of who we still are.

When Stamps were only 37 cents and gas was less than a dollar a gallon.
"I am one day closer to getting to spend the rest of my life with the most beautiful, smart, funny, insert a word here ______ girl ever. I hope that I never get over the fact that we have each other."



  1. You were so young and innocent (?)! Jordan's looks were just as sweet as ever.

    I also enjoy filing a lot of things in File 13, much to my family's dismay. Note- it gets harder as the kids get older.

    Love the idea of sharing letters daily. How wonderful that you have those as testaments of your love!

    Take care. Love, LLB

  2. So
    Love the strength you two still share. Love you both so much.